Are U.S. colleges hostile to Christian students?
So, how tough is it on college campuses these days for Christian students? Pretty grim, as evidenced by lawsuits colleges keep losing -- in which they are charged with blatant religious discrimination.
Are Christian kids on U.S. college campuses facing open hostility and discrimination because of their faith? Supreme Court Justice Justice Samuel Alito seems to think so. So does U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Daniel Ripple – and human rights attorneys Gregory Baylor and Jordan Lorence.
Writing the minority opinion in a case involving Christian students’ rights, Alito warned 18 months ago against the majority’s ruling, saying it would be used as a “weapon” against Christians in U.S. colleges.
When Alito was dissenting in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, he cautioned that not only was the majority’s decision seriously flawed, but that it would be used as a club against groups with viewpoints that are unpopular among the vast majority of college administrators – such as Christian faith.
He warned that kids in religiously and politically conservative groups — which college administrators disfavor — would be targeted, notes Robert Shibley writing for National Review magazine.
Christian Legal Society v. Martinez was a “sharply divided and startlingly wrongheaded decision,” agrees Shibley. “Those concerned about religious liberty on campus have known that the fallout was on its way. At Vanderbilt University, it has arrived — and it’s as bad as anticipated.”
“In Martinez,” he writes, “the Court determined that public institutions like the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law could require all student groups — even those based on shared belief, such as religious and political organizations — to admit members and even leaders without regard to their beliefs.
“Groups like the Christian Legal Society, whose constitution required students to have traditional Christian beliefs (such as in Christ’s bodily resurrection) and morals (no sexual activity outside heterosexual marriage), could be required to remove those provisions from theirconstitutions and admit ‘all comers,’ or else face ‘derecognition’ and the corresponding loss of access to meeting space and other benefits that all other groups enjoyed.